Meditating on Republicans and Conservatives
There was a great piece in the Weekly Standard recently by Noemie Emery about Republican and conservative reactions to the defection of Arlen Specter and what it says about the GOP and those elements that make it up.
I think my favorites takeaway was this:
A movement exists to express and promote a coherent set of principles in the world of ideas and of values. A party...is something quite different: a gathering of diverse political forces around a large and loosely held set of interests and values, that exists to give all of its factions access to power in the practical world of events.
The Republican party is the vehicle for the center-right of the American polity, a group that includes the conservative movement, but is not quite of it, and includes many people who touch the conservative movement with different degrees of intensity, or only lightly, or on only a limited number of points.
So Specter is gone. I had no trouble with it myself, but it is worth reflecting after reading Emery's article:
Are all Republicans supposed to be conservative? Or are all conservatives supposed to be Republican? Both? Neither? Think long and hard before responding.